November 30, 2011

Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

PhotobucketSynopsis (from Goodreads): Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Review: Saba lives her life in a dehydrated, barren world, yet she is content enough as long as she has her twin brother, Lugh. When Lugh is kidnapped by a group of mysterious horsemen, Saba knows she has to do whatever it takes to save him. This starts a rip-roaring adventure, with Saba facing unexpected dangers in her quest to bring Lugh home.

I have to admit, I was sold on Blood Red Road right from the synopsis and had very high expectations for the novel. Often these assumptions can affect a reading experience for the worst, but in this case my expectations were fully met. I loved every minute of Saba’s quest, and I enjoyed getting to know the richly drawn side characters, which include a kick-ass girl vigilante group, Saba’s down-trodden younger sister, and of course, a guy.

I’ll admit, it did take some adjusting to get used to the sparse writing style Young uses in this novel, but once I did it flowed perfectly. Even though there wasn’t a huge amount of description, I didn’t feel that anything was lacking and I could picture everything as if I was there with Saba - rare for any book. I grew to love the writing style - with so many authors bogging their writing down with unnecessary descriptions, it was great to read only what needed to be said and no more.

Saba was a refreshing heroine. She wasn’t portrayed in any way as perfect; in fact she began the novel as selfish, petulant, and just generally unlikeable. However, she went through some extraordinary growth throughout the novel, and by the story’s end she had developed many redeeming traits. I also enjoyed Saba’s relationship with Jack - it felt so real and actually took time to develop, no instant-love here, folks! Jack was adorable, and was never creepy or over-possessive. He and Saba actually worked as a team, and he wasn’t constantly saving her from danger - in fact, Saba would be more likely to save him. So all in all, just a healthy, realistic relationship that I loved.

Blood Red Road was such a fabulous adventure, plain and simple. It’s easily one of my favourite novels of 2011, and I know I’ll be coming back to it whenever I need fun, exciting read. I’m highly anticipating the sequel and can’t wait to see what’s in store for Saba, Jack and the rest of the gang.

Rating: 5 out of 5

November 16, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! 
This is my first time participating in Top Ten Tuesday! This week's topic looked like a fun one to start on - and might actually motivate me to read at least some of the books on this list. 
Top Top Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I've Never Read:
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth - I was so excited when this book arrived in the mail, all shiny and new. I just had to read it, what with all the hype and awesome reviews surrounding it. But I just never got there and four months later it's still on my shelf, just begging to be read. Soon, I think. I'm in the mood for some action.
2. The Body Finder by Kimberley Derting - The synopsis for this one is really intriguing, and when the Kindle store had it on sale I couldn't pass the opportunity up. Despite this great deal however, The Body Finder remains unread. I'm determined to get to it one day though - it sounds so good!
3. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson - I love a sweet contemporary read and this fits the bill perfectly. I honestly don't know why I haven't gotten around to reading this one, as it seems like a quick and adorable novel. 
4. Life by Keith Richards - This is totally left-field in this list, but I love me a good rock n roll biography! I pined for this, waited patiently for it to arrive at my book store, finally got my hands on it, and...that's where the story ends. I was desperate to read this, and now it's just gathering dust. I really want to get to it someday though.
5. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr - This has been on my shelf for a shamefully long time. I think the problem is that I'm not fully drawn in by the synopsis. I've read some good reviews, but I've never read a book about faeries before. But there's a first time for everything, right?
6. A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler - This one drew me in right away with its promise of a dark and twisted contemporary novel. I started it, but I just wasn't hooked so I set it right back down...and never picked it back up. I still have high hopes for this one, though.
7. Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - I've never really read much chick-lit, but this one just had the right synopsis for me. I think I've never got round to it simply because it's a new genre - I've always got something more 'me' that I want to read first.
8. Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph - Just rereading that synopsis now makes me wonder why I haven't yet read this book. I love anything music related in a novel and this totally fits the bill. I need to get started on this one soon.
9. Five Flavors Of Dumb by Antony John - This is pretty much ditto what I said above. Although, through in a deaf girl managing the band and you're dealing with something different to the norm. I've read a lot of good things about this, so I really need to get started.
10. Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt - This sounds like such a sweet book, I honestly don't know why I haven't read it yet. Many of the things I look for in a contemporary are here, so I just need to get started!

So there's my ten. Hopefully nothing too outrageous on there! Leave your post links in the comments - I'd love to see what everyone else hasn't quite gotten around to reading yet.